Mar 27, 2021

John Lewis looks to a future away from the shop floor

The John Lewis store in Sheffield has a history back to 1847 - and locals are not taking its planned closure lightly. The challenge for John Lewis and many others is not just shoring up profitability as they emerge from the pandemic, but of working out how many stores they need now that shoppers have shown an increasing willingness to transact online. "On the downside, department store retailing is a really vicious model," said Andrew Murphy, executive director of operations at John Lewis. When Covid-19 arrived, John Lewis found that many customers who loved stores shopped online if they had to. In making its own assessments, John Lewis relied on detailed analysis of the behaviour of more than 20m customers across both its department stores and the Waitrose supermarket chain.

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